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Did You Have A Role Model?

Updated on May 29, 2009


A recent read of People online (Yes, I’ve become my mother who believes that anything important in the world will eventually be covered by such a publication. I call it her “People Magazine Mentality”) anyway, I was reading this piece on Adam Lambert and when asked about his sexuality he said, “Calm down and keep speculating” he also goes on to talk about how “conforming is not cool” and feels he can serve as an example to kids and young adults, “It feels great because I never had a role model like that.” Well if asked I would tell Mr. Lambert that there are plenty of role models out there but the thing about them is that they don’t always come to your door (or appear on television), sometimes you have to go and find them. Did you have a role model? – Don’t Get Me Started!

Look, I couldn’t care less if Adam Lambert is gay, metrosexual or merely likes the makeup like Eddie Izzard (a comedian who also is a cross dresser), that’s Lambert’s own business and I do applaud him for not getting trapped by media (yes, even the gay media) who seem to have their gay vampire fangs out lusting over a full confession that he’s gay and the names of everyone he has ever slept with and if they’re “hot.” Good for him for holding his ground and privacy but if he expects to be a role model for the nonconformists (or anyone) then he’s going to have to do something more besides wear eyeliner and nail polish.

I don’t know about you but when I was growing up I had two very important role models, they were called my parents. I know that a lot of people come from one parent homes but that is immaterial here, back in my day (when dinosaurs roamed the earth and gays were in the middle square on Hollywood Squares) I actually saw my parents (even though both worked) more than I saw “celebrities” so I modeled my behavior from them. I learned how important it was to dress up for depression from my mother and how to not have any patience from my father (okay, let’s face it they can still be role models but not everything you take on from your role model is necessarily good). My point is that my parents were worthy of being my role models (so was Joel Grey, Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland and a host of other gay icons that would only make you roll your eyes if you read the entire list here). But you see they weren’t celebrities for spitting on someone else on a reality show where a bunch of people are locked in a house together or shoved onto an uncharted desert isle, they were people who worked at their craft and through their artistry and some luck made it to be famous and earned my respect as a role model because I wanted to go into the show business too. Sorry Mr. Lambert, you’re going to have to do more than spend 12 weeks on a television show to be a role model.

Not to mention the fact that I had literary, scientific and political role models (to name a few). Anyone who could write a character like Scarlett O’Hara gets my respect and becomes a role model (as did Scarlett…as God as my witness). Sure celebrities are easy to point to as “role models” but in my humble opinion, the real role models are the ones who when you emulate you are not only mimicking someone else’s behaviors or fashion sense but are inspired by them to find a way to make it your own. It’s like cologne or perfume, based on your own chemistry it will smell different on different people. So maybe Lambert is right about the non-conforming but isn’t taking on someone as a role model conforming to their standards and practices, at least a little? Once again, I have managed to stump my own panel (myself) with my rhetoric.

Or maybe taking on a role model is different than the theme song from the television show Facts of Life. Maybe you don’t “take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the Facts of Life.” Maybe when it comes to role models you only take the good. But who’s to say what’s the good and what’s the bad? Jiminy Cricket isn’t on my shoulder and if my conscience is truly my guide as he used to tell Pinocchio then I’m in big trouble.

I guess what I really think is that the words “role model” seem to be thrown around way too lightly at least when it comes to my understanding of those words. Hey, maybe that’s it, maybe I’m making role models much more important than everyone else and what they should be. Maybe role models are just like a part an actor plays, a role and hopefully you look like a model while doing it? Did you have a role model? – Don’t Get Me Started!

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      Preston 8 years ago

      Believe this or not, I never really had what I would call a role model. My parents were too busy getting divorced and remarried and I never really connected with any other adults. Perhaps people get confused over the difference between role models and people intrigue us.